“Book Preservation” Fall semester 2012
This 3 credit hour, 16 session class will synthesize principles and practice of both book conservation and library preservation into an introduction to sustainable book access overall. University of Iowa Center for the Book
Book Preservation: Principles and Practice
Current book transitions from paper to screen recall previous shifts of scroll to codex or manuscript to print yet the current shift is distinctively sudden. Book based research is changing rapidly and production of books is revolutionized. The future of books as a physical transmission medium is uncertain. Authors, publishers and information technologists are reacting and students of book studies, book arts and librarianship must gain perspective.
This course will introduce principles and methods of book preservation providing a window on real practice in book transmission. Two specific specialties of book conservation and library preservation are surveyed at a moment of transformation as partitions of special and general collections, remote and local library access and print and screen books are redefined.
The course is suggested for those interested in academic book studies, media history, library collections care, and studio book arts. Students will experience crafts and technologies that enable book persistence into the future and will better understand current changes of library service.
“Future of the Book Seminar”
This seminar will investigate the future of the print book in a context of its digital delivery. Wide redefinition is in progress in fields as diverse as neurology of reading, digital preservation, e-book marketing, and technology of print on demand. Discussion extends from standards and certification of print originals to blog rants on the death of the book, electronic format competitions and favorite reading devices. Over arching this dynamic is the canonic role of the physical book and its imprint on the future of cultural transmission.
Students will survey issues and experience distinctive affordances of the paper and screen book. The sessions will include visiting specialist lectures as well as student presentations. This seminar will be of interest to those in book studies, communication studies and library and information studies. A one hour credit is offered for the six sessions.
“Historical Printing: a seminar on letterpress transmission”
This one hour credit seminar course will introduce environments and experience of historical letterpress production. Sessions will provide practitioner lectures and extensive field experience. This seminar will be of interest to students in communications studies, media and book studies, social history studies and museum interpretation and education.
Field study sites include Iowa City letterpress studios, the Print Shop and Bindery in the Amana Colonies, the Iowa River Landing Print Shop at the Johnson County Historical Society Museum, the Linotype Museum in Denmark Iowa and the historical printing studio of the University of Iowa Center for the Book.
Students will engage in skilled operations, individual research and class demonstrations. Explorative discussion will consider contexts of historical print production as pre-cursive to contemporary communications and digital publication. The class will explore communalities between present and past technologies such as the keyboard automation, image quality and delivery systems and technological transition.
“Structure and Action in Codex Binding”
Physical books have elegance not only as artifacts, but also as exemplars of legibility, of easy and non-damaging navigation and mobile action. Historical structures easily produce page displays and gracefully respond to reading manipulations. How do they perform so well or not so well?
This session will provide analysis and evaluation of the functional mobility of the codex structure. Basic design issues of materials selection, mobility inhibitions, and the nature of analog access will be discussed. A taxonomy of prototypes, spanning mechanical structures and historical contexts, will be defined and studied. Attributes of each type will be considered in context of exhibition, imaging, reading, portability, durability and kinetic appeal.
This systematic evaluation of foundational codex structures will help resolve design issues for book conservation practice. Guidelines for endpaper and cover to text attachment will be suggested. Attributes and deficiencies ranging from the design traits of papyrus bookbinding to constraints of print-on-demand binding will be demonstrated and discussed. Students will present and resolve structural problems in their own practice. An array of publications and support opportunities will be suggested.
*** July, 2013, OldWays Homestead, Santa Idaho
Instructor for the Workshops
Gary Frost is an
educator in book art and book conservation. He has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia University in New York and the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently the Conservator Emeritus for the Libraries at the University of Iowa.
Gary is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and has been been honored with the Banks Harris Award by the American Library Association and a lifetime achievement award by the Guild of Book Workers.